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Showing posts from 2013

The New 21st Century Career: Idea Enterprenuer

There is a new player emerging on the cultural and business scene today: the idea entrepreneur. Perhaps you are one yourself — or would like to be. The idea entrepreneur is an individual, usually a content expert and often a maverick, whose main goal is to influence how other people think and behave in relation to their cherished topic. These people don't seek power over others and they're not motivated by the prospect of achieving great wealth. Their goal is to make a difference, to change the world in some way. Idea entrepreneurs are popping up everywhere.Research into this phenomenon has produced interesting results at how many different kinds of people aspire to be idea entrepreneurs. From librarians, salespeople, educators, thirteen-year-old kids, marketers, technologists to consultants, business leaders, social entrepreneurs — all over Kenya — who have an idea, want to go public with it, and, in some cases, build a sustainable enterprise around it. The ones who succe

Kenyan entrepreneur shares nine ideas on how to be successful in business

Architect John Kithaka began his journey in business immediately after high school at age 18. A small farming venture in his rural Kenyan hometown with US$70 as capital from pocket money his parents gave him, built his foundation in business. Today, at 40, Kithaka is the CEO and founding member of the Fountain Enterprise Programme (FEP) Group of Companies. John Kithaka The group, made up of 18,000 Kenyan shareholders, has made investments in 14 companies worth $18.3 million in the financial, media, hospitality and education sectors. Despite running several successful ventures while in university and immediately after graduation, Kithaka established FEP out of a “burning desire to create a club of tomorrow’s billionaires”. Kithaka draws a lot of inspiration from his profession as an architect, insisting that he never invests in anything until he has laid a solid and unshakeable foundation. He also must have a picture in mind of what the end project will look like and whether

How Entrepreneurs Come Up With Great Ideas

At the heart of any successful business is a great idea. Some seem so simple we wonder why nobody thought of them before. Others are so revolutionary we wonder how anybody could've thought of them at all. But those great ideas don't come on command. And that leaves lots of would-be entrepreneurs asking the same question: How did everybody   else   get inspiration to strike—and how can we work the same magic? To find out, here are a few tips from Guy Kawasaki   ( Author and former chief evangelist of Apple) : Look at What's Bugging You Ideas for startups often begin with a problem that needs to be solved. And they don't usually come while you're sitting around sipping coffee and contemplating life. They tend to reveal themselves while you're hard at work on something else. You're Never Too Young Mark Zuckerberg   with Facebook, —is a success story that leads some people to think that coming up with big ideas is an middle-aged person's game.

Kenyan women enterprenuers in male-dominated world of business

Herein are five Kenyan women entrepreneurs who have dared to enter the male-dominated world of business to build some of the region’s most respected companies. Quote:  “Ladies, it’s like learning to ride a bike or driving a car. You need only to believe in yourself, trust your gut feeling and develop a clear plan or strategy, keep it simple and implement that plan step by step with courage, conviction and love above all. Ultimately be open minded and flexible to change course when needed and listen to your customers.” Rionge co-founded internet service provider Wananchi Online that has since been transformed into Wananchi Group Holdings – one of east Africa’s leading providers of pay-tv, broadband internet and VoIP services. Last year the company raised US$57.5 million in growth capital from a group of international investors. A typical serial entrepreneur, Rionge has over the years founded a number of successful companies. She currently runs Ignite Consulting, a firm that  sp

College drop-out enterprenuer rakes in millions from advertising

Being a drop-out is not an on: Anthony Mwaura is a creative enterprenuer. At 25, he is a millionaire after he chose the unbeaten path and established one of the most sought-after advertising firms in the region. Whatever Mr Mwaura touches — be it the in-house music production studio he ran two years back or the corporate branding company he currently manages from his magnificent office on Riara Road in Nairobi — turns into gold. “I dropped out from the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication in 2009 where I was studying TV production due to lack of school fees. I later decided to use the skills I had learnt in production and editing to make a living,’’ says Mr Mwaura in an interview with the  Business Daily  on Monday. At that time, he could record up-and-coming musicians like Juliani, Jimmi Gait, A Star, Ekko Dydda, among others, who today are some of the biggest acts in the music industry. “I used to charge them Sh10,000 per song and I had five musicia

12 interesting facts about entrepreneurs that will surprise you

In my head this is what I think an average entrepreneur is like.  Pretty young (think Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.) living the red beans and rice lifestyle and working 80+ hours a week and sleeping under their desk.  On some parts, I’m probably right — but on many, I’m flat-out wrong.  This is demonstrated by a recent report from the Kauffman foundation for entrepreneurship.  The report is titled “ The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur ”.  It’s based on a survey of 549 company founders across a variety of industries. Here are some of the points from the report that I found the most interesting.  1.  The average and median age of company founders when they started their current companies was 40. 2.  95.1 percent of respondents themselves had earned bachelor’s degrees, and 47 percent had more advanced degrees. 3.  Less than 1 percent came from extremely rich or extremely poor backgrounds 4.  15.2% of founders had a sibling that previously started a business. 5.  69.9 percent o

15 Major Reasons Youth Shun Careers in Agriculture

I asked myself why most youth in Kenya, and youth in general, do not like agriculture as a career? Why do youth hate agriculture so much? Here are below are some reasons: 1.     Young people perceive agriculture as a profession of intense labor, not profitable and unable to support their livelihood compared to white collar jobs offer. They think agriculture would not afford them to enjoy the pleasures of owning a beautiful home, posh cars, the latest gadgets and mobile phones like what their colleagues in white collar jobs have access to. 2.     When one talks about agriculture or farming, in the minds of young people, they think of someone far down in a village living in a shack, who wakes up very early every morning to go dig coming back home at sunset. This farmer in their minds, is so far away detached from civilization, and barely wears any clothes and is the typical person who lives on less than a 100bob a week. 3.     There is a very high drive towards industrializati

Sh10m online venture built by Kenyan Enterprenuer

As a student at Virginia Tech in the United States, Mogaka Mwencha would stock up on local Kenyan crafts while on holiday, and display them proudly in his room. His friends would gape over the artefacts and in the spirit of entrepreneurship, Mogaka sold selected pieces at a tidy profit. Little did he know that his passion for Kenyan art would culminate 12 years later in a business worth over Sh10 million. The first venture that the budding entrepreneur embarked upon was in 2000 with college mates from Zambia and Malawi. Through a website called ezuri, they sold African art to the Western market. However, the challenges of importing items, trade restrictions, packaging and transport prevented ezuri from growing. “But the opportunity was there; that was clear,” said Mogaka. Seven years later, he returned to Kenya with his eye keenly trained on online business opportunities. Internet-based “When I returned, I found a few guys setting up Internet-based businesses to facilitat